Working Toward a Spring Recovery

If you’re working on recovering from these past winter disasters, you’re not alone. The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) has reported that the “…snowfall and prolonged extreme cold throughout many parts of the United States, have resulted in insured losses from winter storms of more than $1.5 billion…” as of the February 24th report. The statistics are reported from January 1st, which only includes two of the four large winter storms during the 2013-2014 winter. The $1.5 billion is spread over 175,000 insurance claims throughout the United States.

While none of the four big storms this winter registered financially on the Top Ten Winter Storm and Winter Damage Events in the US & Canada the timing and volume of the winter storms severely disrupted many organizations. Since 1993, the annual average of insured losses from winter storms has been $1.4 billion, which was matched in just 7+ weeks. A survey of Wall Street strategists estimated the harsh winter conditions may have cost the United States roughly $50 billion and 76,000 jobs.

In the wake of the wintry disasters, the SearchServerVirtualization Advisory Board’s monthly member forum was all about disaster recovery options. The main purpose of the article is all about protecting your virtual environment. Products are becoming more complex as mountains of data continue to pile on. These investments need to be protected, and the disaster recovery options continue to grow. Choosing the right environment and implementing the right system may seem like a complex and time consuming tasks. SBS Group is teaming up with StorageCraft to help organizations keep their data and products secure. You can learn more tomorrow, April 2nd at 1pm as we help educate organizations on the right disaster recovery environment.

1,2,3…Microsoft Rakes in Awards at CRN’s Annual Report Card

Congratulations to Microsoft, Corporation for taking in 4 Top Awards for the CRN Annual Report Card at the XChange 2013 awards ceremony! This is the 28th year CRN polls solution providers reviewing strengths and weaknesses of the IT vendors they work with.

The Annual Report Card rates vendors within their product specialties in the following categories: product innovation, support and partnership.  Over 3,600 responses were ranked for 73 programs across 19 product categories.

Microsoft won this year in the Collaboration Software category. The collaboration space includes Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft SharePoint and other collaboration solutions. The company far outscored the #2 company, IBM, in criteria including product marketability and ease of doing business.  It continued its rankings by receiving second place in the following two categories:

– Data Information & Management (SQL Server)
– Business Analytics (Office 2013, SharePoint, PowerPivot)

Although IBM took the #1 spot for Business Analytics, Microsoft ranked higher in ease of doing business and just missed the top spot for Data Information & Management by its competitor, Oracle.  In the desktop and server virtualization category, Microsoft ranked #3 to VMWare and Citrix, but challenges the competitors in the core virtualization business.

Find more information about CRN’s Annual Report Card by clicking here. If you are interested in Microsoft’s software solutions or other business management solutions, please contact SBS Group here.

InfoComm Presents: Are you prepared for the next natural disaster?

How fast can your business get up and running after a fire, flood, theft, data corruption or equipment failure? Whether it’s hours, days, or weeks – the amount of time greatly impacts your businesses’ ability to survive.  Disaster Recovery is the process, policies and procedures related to preparing for recovery or continuation of critical technical infrastructure after a catastrophe.

Did you know?
• 66% of businesses don’t have a disaster recovery plan
• 43% of companies that had a major loss of business data never reopen
• An additional 29% of the 57% close within two years after the disaster

Don’t miss this webinar as guest speaker James Bowman, President & CEO of SBS Group, tells you how you can prepare the next natural disaster. Register Today!

Cloud Security: The Missing Ingredient for Process Manufacturers

Those in the process manufacturing industry require tight security to protect their recipes, formulas, and general secrets from getting into the hands of competitors. Having the best formula or recipe can make all the difference in an industry. In fact, the mystique of Coca-Cola’s famous secret recipe inspired an attraction back in 2011 at their corporate headquarters – a tour of their massive vault.

Obviously this is a unique situation. Today, most companies use some type of technology to keep their formulas and recipes in a database. ERP solutions provide network and software security to prevent external hacking and ensuring only the right internal associates have access. Some companies still just use a spreadsheet, which is convenient, but significantly decreases the security on your data.

One of the best security practices is to adopt a cloud platform. A recent study revealed “… that, in addition to time and cost savings, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in the U.S. that use a cloud service gain significant security, privacy and reliability advantages compared with companies that have not adopted the cloud.”

Here are a few highlights from the study:

“The Microsoft study, which did not qualify participants by product, service or vendor, asked SMBs that have not adopted the cloud what was holding them back:

• 60% cited concerns around data security.

• 45% worried that using the cloud would result in a lack of control over their data.

• 42% doubted the reliability of the cloud.

In stark contrast, the study found that the experiences of SMBs that use cloud services contradict these concerns:

• 94% have gained security benefits they did not have with their former on-premises technology, such as up-to-date systems, up-to-date antivirus and spam email management.

• 62% have seen increased levels of privacy protection.

• 75% have experienced improved service availability.

Seventy percent of SMBs in the study said that adopting a cloud service meant they could invest money and time savings into areas such as product development and innovation, demand creation, and expansion into new markets. Half of SMBs have pursued new opportunities because of the time they saved managing security.”

Contact SBS Group for all of your cloud platform and ERP needs. You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and join our LinkedIn page for additional updates.

HELP: Windows XP Support ending April 8, 2014

The rumors are true! Microsoft has announced that Windows XP will go out of support on April 8, 2014.

If your organization has not started to prepare for this change, time is running out. According to Microsoft, “the average enterprise deployment can take 18-32 months from business case through full deployment“. That means now is the time to discuss what your migration strategy is.

What does end of support mean to you?

After April 8, 2013- Microsoft will provide no new security updates, no non-security hotfixes, and no free or paid assisted support options. If you decide to run Windows XP in your organization after the end of support date you are opening your company up to security and compliance risks, among many other vulnerabilities.

Want to learn more about Migrating from Windows XP? Register for our free webinar below and hear from SBS Group’s technical experts on what the best strategy is for your organization.

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